Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Trends And Statistical Overview

Highlights, Challenges and Trends

  • Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) began posting summaries of its closed access to information requests in September 2011.
  • The ATIP Unit reviewed and provided advice on 24 audit and evaluation related documents prior to information being posted to WD’s public web site.
  • WD recognized Right to Know Week (September 26–30, 2011) via e-mail to all staff as a news bulletin on the department’s intranet site.
  • WD continues to share it policy, procedures, best practices and staff awareness materials with other regional development agencies and the Small Agency Administrator’s Network.
  • WD has identified no significant multi-year trends pertaining to the types of request or the processing of requests received under the Access to Information Act. Any increase or decrease in the various components of the statistical report is proportionate to the number of requests received in 2011–2012 when compared to previous years.

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Statistical Overview

The following information provides additional context where appropriate to the statistical details found in Annex B – "2011–2012 Report on the Access to Information Act (Statistical Report)".

A.  Request-Related Information

In 2011–2012, WD received 11 requests for information pursuant to the Access to Information Act. This is a 39 percent decrease from the last two fiscal years. In addition, WD received two requests which were treated informally as a result of the posting of summaries of closed access requests.

The breakdown of the sources of requests is noted below, along with the comparison of the sources of access requests between 2011–2012 and 2010–2011 fiscal years is provided.

  • Four (37 percent) from the general public
  • Three (27 percent) from media
  • Two each (18 percent) from business and other organizations (political party)

Text version: Comparison of Requests by Source – 2011-2012 vs. 2010-2011

Comparison of Requests by Source – 2011-2012 vs. 2010-2011

B.  Extensions of Time Limits and Consultations

Section 9 of the Act provides for the extension of the statutory time limits if the request is for a large volume of records or necessitates a search through a large volume of records and meeting the original time limit would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the department; also, if consultations are necessary.

In 2011–2012, WD required extensions to complete necessary consultations on two requests. Although extensions of 45 and 60 days were taken, WD closed both requests within 45 days thanks to the prompt responses from the third parties and other government departments that were consulted.

C.  Exemptions and Exclusions Invoked

The department closed seven requests in 2011–2012. Of these, exemptions were applied pursuant to the Act on three requests. If three different exemptions were applied to a request, one exemption under each relevant section would be reported for a total of three; however, the same exemption claimed several times in the same request is captured only once in the statistics.

Exemption Invoked 2011–2012 2010–2011
13(1) 0 1
14 0 1
16(2) 0 2
18 0 2
19(1) 1 6
20(1) 3 8
21(1) 4 11
23 1 2
26 1 0

Sections 20(1) and 21(1) of the Act were the most utilized exemption during the reporting period, each having been applied to two requests. Section 26 was applied to one request, but information subsequently released.

The Act does not apply to certain materials such as published material pursuant to Section 68 or confidences of the Queen’s Privy Council pursuant to Section 69. WD did not invoke either Section 68 or 69 during the 2011–2012 reporting period.

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D.  Disposition, Completion Times and Method of Access

Of the seven access requests completed during the reporting period, four were disclosed electronically in their entirety and three were disclosed in part and the records provided in a paper format. Four requests were carried forward to the 2012–2013 fiscal year.

Of the requests carried forward, two requests required clarification and/or application fees, one required reproduction fees, and one awaited the response to a consultation with another federal department (a preliminary response and a portion of the records had been provided to the requestor).

E. Other Government Department Consultations

WD was consulted by other federal departments on 15 occasions and twice by provincial government departments in 2011–2012, for a total of 17 consultations. One consultation was carried forward to the 2012–2013 fiscal year. This is a 23 percent decrease from 2010–2011. Of these consultations from other federal departments, five were courtesy notices; however, WD reviews this information carefully to ensure the information being disclosed about the department is accurate.

F. Complaints and Investigations

WD received no complaints pursuant to the Access to Information Act in 2011–2012, and there were no appeals or applications submitted to the Federal Court.

G.  Fees and Operational Costs Associated with Administering the Act

Access to Information fees collected during the reporting period totalled $78.80. These fees include application fees for 10 requests and $23.80 for reproduction costs. During the same period, WD waived fees totalling $32.80, including reproduction fees of $27.80, as well as a $5.00 application fee refund. (Note: The reproduction fees, both fees collected and waived, reported here are the actual fees; fees reported in the Statistical Report are rounded up due to reporting limitations of the report.)

WD’s cost for administrating the Access to Information Act is estimated as follows:

  • ATIP Unit salary costs, including a portion of the ATIP Coordinator’s and Deputy ATIP Coordinator’s salaries, and 70 percent of the ATIP Officer’s salary;
  • administrative operation and maintenance costs, which include non-salary expenses associated with the processing of access requests, and ATIP case management system licensing and upgrades; and
  • additional salary-related costs, which incorporate estimated costs for other departmental officials to retrieve, review and make recommendations concerning records responding to access requests and translation of staff awareness materials and privacy-related documents.

ATIP Unit salaries : $67,839
Administrative operation and maintenance costs : $7,681
Total ATIP Unit Costs : $75,520

Additional salary-related costs: $9,781
Total Departmental Costs: $85,301

The additional costs included above, which are not all captured in the Statistical Report, provide a more complete picture of the overall cost to the department to administer all aspects of its activities related to the Access to Information Act. While the salary costs increased slightly, the total estimated costs to administer the Act of $85,301decreased slightly from 2010–2011 due to reduced administrative operation and maintenance costs and other salary-related costs.